I turn 40 on Tuesday. I had a meltdown a week or so ago, crying and sniffling and generally feeling sorry for myself because this is “the end of my youth”. Thankfully I have a sister who is 3 years older than me and was able to provide some much-needed perspective. I’m a late bloomer and I’m finally about to hit my stride. (Finally!) My mother didn’t get going until she was 40 either. She did quite well for herself. And, so far, I’ve managed to get everything I’ve wanted out of life. I got to be a Mom. I got to stay home with the kids. I got to go to school as much as I wanted. I have achieved all of my young person, starter dreams, now it’s time to make some new ones.

I think that’s the piece I was missing really, I felt like I had done everything there was to do and that, from here on out it was drudgery – having to work and not getting to play with my kids as much as I wanted to anymore. But, really, I get to be a nurse. Yes, work is going to be hard some days, but it’ll be nice to be doing something with purpose again. I get to meet and help people. I lost sight of the idea that it’s never too late to create new dreams. I will now do what most people did in their 20s and focus on building a career that I like. I have more school after this, but it’ll be connected to my job and done while I’m working.

40 isn’t a death sentence for my youth, it is a transition into another stage, just like 30 was. I finally, truly do not care what other people think of my choices or my person. If you don’t want to be friends with me, that’s perfectly OK, I don’t have to spend time finding out why or worrying about how I might be wrong somehow. I don’t have to worry incessantly about my missteps. I can take responsibility for them, try to fix them, and move on. I laughingly told my sister that I’d opened up a big ol’ can of “F*** It”. 40 is going to be OK after all.

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